What happened

Monday dawned bright and sunny for Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) investors -- and for as many as three reasons. First and most obviously, the presidential election is just around the corner, and with the Biden-Harris ticket up as much as 10 percentage points in the polls, investors are presumably betting on the inauguration of a Green New Deal alongside a President Joe Biden a couple months from now.

Second and almost as obvious, this morning Plug Power announced the official date for release of its Q3 2020 earnings results. On Nov. 9, Plug plans to update investors on its progress toward its goal of generating $1.2 billion in annual sales, and $200 million in annual operating profit, by 2024.

Which, incidentally, would be final year of a Biden presidency's first term.

Cartoon fuel cell car on palm of hand putting out H2 bubbles as exhaust

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

It remains to be seen, of course, whether former Vice President Biden actually will become President Biden -- and whether Plug's bright green future in the United States will materialize as planned. But Plug Power stock is up a strong 6.8% in 10:40 a.m. EST trading.

The reason: While a Biden presidency might be great news for green energy stocks like Plug, it's not the only catalyst supporting these shares, or perhaps even the most important.

Now what

Over the weekend, CNBC ran a long story playing up the potential for a $1.7 billion Biden renewable energy plan that might include investments in hydrogen as a fuel source. In the U.S., explained CNBC, an "Advanced Clean Energy Storage project in Utah aims to" create a reservoir of hydrogen gas, buried deep in a salt mine, to use as a fuel source for fuel cell vehicles. According to CNBC, this single hydrogen reservoir would contain enough potential energy to power 150,000 homes for one year.  

The project, dubbed ACES, would be completed in 2025 and support U.S. demand for hydrogen that could quadruple from current levels by 2050. Meanwhile, hydrogen demand is growing even faster in Europe -- perhaps sevenfold in the time it takes U.S. demand to grow barely half as much. CNBC cites Bank of America data suggesting that the total, global annual revenue opportunity for hydrogen and fuel cell companies such as Plug Power could approach $4 trillion by 2050.

Meanwhile, Plug Power stock is valued at just $6 billion. This, in a nutshell, is why Plug stock is going up today.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.